Agenda Item 6

Report to:

Schools’ Forum


Date of meeting:


19 November 2021

Report By:

Alison Jeffery



Central School Services Block (CSSB) 2022/23



To provide an update on the CSSB allocations for 2022/23    




1) Schools’ Forum are asked to note and approve the proposals for the Central School Services Block for 2022/23.


1      Background

1.1   The DSG for 2022/23 will be allocated by the DfE, like 2021/22, into four notional blocks: Schools, High Needs, Early Years and Central School Services Block (CSSB). Each block is calculated on a different basis and subject to separate regulations as to eligible expenditure.


1.2   This paper specifically relates to the CSSB. This block includes funding that has been allocated to Local Authorities (LAs) to carry out functions on behalf of pupils in both maintained schools and academies and has two distinct elements:


·         Ongoing responsibilities This comprises:

o   funds specified by the DfE and retained centrally (Admissions, Copyright (CLA) licenses and Servicing Schools Forum); and

o   funds that were previously known as Retained Duties ESG which, up to 2017/18, the LA received and held separately for its on-going responsibilities to maintained schools and academies.


·         Historic Commitments These are what were previously known as “Combined Services” and is funding for previously specified financial commitments.


2    2022/23 On-going responsibilities


2.1 The DfE fund On-going responsibilities on a per pupil basis using the Oct census NOR and have increased the funding rate for 2022/23 to £36.43 per pupil.  


2.2  As with 2021/22, the LA is asking to retain the full amount that the DfE is allocating for 2022/23. Because the overall funding has increased due to a rate increase and not NOR, the increase would be distributed across all of the budget areas.  


2.3  Table 1 shows the 2022/23 proposals for the ‘On-going Responsibilities’ element of the CSSB which totals £2.31m. (Please note that this is separate from the Schools Block DSG which funds budget shares / GAGs).







Table 1: Proposals for 2022/23 On-going Responsibilities




3.    Historic Commitments


3.1  The Historic Commitments are funded by the DfE as a lump sum amount, and for 2022/23, the DfE are allocating £3.15m to ESCC for Historic Commitments.


3.2  In previous years, the LA has requested to use £422k of this funding for Lansdowne (£242k) and the Virtual School (£180k). However, for 2022/23, because the DfE have increased the funding rate for the on-going responsibilities and alongside a further review of LA budgets, this has helped release council funds to support the provision for both Lansdowne and the Virtual School. This means that the LA are not intending to use any of this DSG funding element and instead propose to transfer the full £3.15m to schools and academies (Based on Oct ’21 NOR).   


3.3  Table 2 is a summary of the proposals for 2022/23 funding for historic commitments.


3.4  If the final 2022/23 CSSB allocation from DfE is higher than the indicative level (which could be expected as there is still an increase in NOR), the intention would be for any further funds to be transferred to schools / academies, as in previous years.









Table 2: Proposals for 2022/23 Historic Commitments


Historic Commitments

2021/22 Allocations

CSSB Changes

2022/23 Proposed Allocations






Virtual School




Funds transferred to Schools




* Total





       *Please note that the DfE reduce the Historic commitments value by 20% each year. This means that for 2022/23, the value has reduced by £788k.


4       Statutory duties for Maintained Schools


4.1  LAs are also still able to seek approval from maintained schools to retain some Schools Block DSG (from maintained schools only) to cover the statutory duties that are carried out for maintained schools that were previously funded through the General ESG.



4.2  ESCC has not proposed to do this in the past, and together with recognising there are still ongoing pressures on school budgets, we are proposing to continue in this way for 2022/23, although there continues to be some risks to the LA with this approach.



5.    Summary and Conclusion


5.1  This report lays out the proposals for the retention of the £2.31m for ‘on-going responsibilities’ and the transferring of £3.15m ‘Historic Commitments’ to schools and academies in addition to their budget shares/ GAG. Schools Forum members are asked to approve these proposals.



Alison Jeffery

Director Children’s Services

Contact Officer: Ed Beale
Tel. No. 01273 337984